National Parks

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bro, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    I thought Joshua Tree was very overrated. I think if it wasn't so close in proximity to LA it wouldn't get near the attention. Still worth a stop though.
     
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  2. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    Does it have the same majesty as Yosemite or Yellowstone? Hell no. But I have been there countless times, and enjoy it every time. Awesome place to camp.
     
  3. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    ya, you have to view these places that don't have great hiking with a different lens. I enjoyed Sand Dunes national park, but you just camp there and get on the dunes. You don't get to do awesome hikes like you would get to do as the Tetons, RMNP, or Yosemite. I kinda felt the same way about the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and (to a lesser extent) Arches and Bryce. Some cool hiking, nifty AF to look at, but not as fun as the PNW or Rocky Mountain parks.
     
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  4. Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone deluxe member
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    Yeah, I have felt the same. I went to HS with a couple of them. You'd have to bide your time in like Wind Cave and Cuyahoga for 5 years before sniffing it something like that
     
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  5. Nug

    Nug I'm a good man, shakin' hand, firm grip rule
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    I wonder if it'd be a bit easier in really rural towns like Concrete (North Cascades - one of the least visited NPs) or Forks (Olympic NP).
     
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  6. tspa

    tspa Well-Known Member
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    It's actually surprisingly difficult to get into Park Rangering.
    One of my sister's friends is one. She has a degree in wildlife management, or something similar that makes her qualified. The entry level jobs are all like 3 or 6 months contracts and once that contract is up the same park can't hire you for 3 or 6 months.
    This girl bounced around parks for like 4 years before getting a permanent post. She did like 3 months in Gates of the Arctic, I think maybe 6 months in North Cascades then a year in a national forest in Washington. Some time in a national forest in Arizona, some time fighting wildfires.
    Her last seasonal gig was walking the Georgia section of the AT, checking camping permits, making sure people were prepared to do the through hike, maintaining the trail, etc.
    Now she has a full time position at a state park in Tennessee.
     
  7. racer

    racer Yuma, where I work in software.
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    A stint at gates of the arctic sounds dope as hell
     
  8. lomcevak

    lomcevak The suck zone
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    From what I gather the NPS and USFS don't pay particularly well, especially for entry level-type positions.

    It's certainly a labor of love
     
  9. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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  10. The Banks

    The Banks TMB's Alaskan
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    Least visited NP in the country. 10K visitors in a non-Covid year. No roads.

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  11. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    My grandfather’s brother became a park ranger at Crater Lake in the 1950’s, then after his kids were in college/married, spent the last 15 years of his career at Denali.

    He loved it. Denali was basically a six months a year job.
     
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  12. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    We’re doing Yosemite and Sequoia in the last week of June.

    We have our plan for Yosemite as far as hikes, but I’m always interested to hear more.

    Really looking for recommendations for two days in Sequoia.

    My son is 12, and he and I can handle most trails. My wife and his two sisters won’t, so looking for more moderate recommendations as well.
     
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  13. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    I went to Sequoia twice and while I loved the park, I did not really find most of the hiking I did memorable. Well, outside of the ones in the magnificent areas with the trees which I would consider more walks than hikes. I would recommend just "hiking" around the General Sherman, seeing the Congress trail. Extremely easy hikes appropriate for all ages, surrounded by the most majestic trees in the world imo. I also enjoyed the Crescent Meadow loop. Very easy hike and a chance to see some wildlife there.

    The Moro rock hike is very popular but it didn't look that great to me and I didn't do it. Maybe a mistake on my part but the parking lot was packed. Alta Peak I've heard is cool but probably too intense for what you're looking for. . It's a beautiful park, I'm happy you're getting to experience it, I'm not sure how much longer they'll be around with the fires.

    I'm not much of a help with the King's Canyon side of the park. I was rushed there, trying to fit it in before nightfall. From what I can remember, it seemed almost indistinguishable from the Sequoia side.

    Three Rivers, CA, just outside the park is a pretty lovely area to get an Airbnb. Sequoia Coffee Co is there and pretty great if you're looking for a place to grab some breakfast. Also a nice sandwich shop (I believe Sierra Subs) there to grab your lunch, as there's not much at all available in the park.
     
    #1363 LeonardWashington, Apr 4, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
  14. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    Also, there may be some cave hikes available. They were closed on both of my visits, but that is likely an easy hike and pretty unique. Some people just aren't interested in caves, though.
     
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  15. Nug

    Nug I'm a good man, shakin' hand, firm grip rule
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    Have you seen The Descent, my dude?
     
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  16. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    Spent last Sunday and today at the Grand Canyon. Have explored a good bit of the South Rim at this point and it never gets old

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  17. BP

    BP Bout to Regulate.
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    Wait until you get below the rim
     
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  18. Zack Zedalis

    Zack Zedalis Silver Foxin'
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    Took the family to Big Bend over Easter
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  19. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    At Blue Springs Cavern in Bedford, Indiana south of Bloomington/Indiana University, you can spend the night in the cave.

    When my son was in fourth grade, we camped the night in one of their cavern rooms with kids/dads from his school.

    We did some easy spelunking, but did have to crawl. They had a boat tour with albino cave fish and albino crawfish that was cool as well.

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    https://www.bluespringcaverns.com/overnight
     
  20. cutig

    cutig My name is Rod, and I like to party
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    Semi related to my field - it's hard as shit to get in. I probably had temp jobs for 3 years before getting into a longer term position. Incredibly competitive to get on permanent with the government. Probably doesn't help the NPS folks that retired people will do the seasonal work for free at the bigger parks.


    Both of those agencies are crazy with the amount of low graded employees. I spent a summer with the NPS a while back. The dude I worked for who was the supervisor for the wildlife dept for part of the park was only a GS7 and had been there for several years. Same deal when I worked for the usfs. Most employees at the office were 5s or 7s, even some supervisors.
     
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  21. racer

    racer Yuma, where I work in software.
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    Looks a little Marshall applewhitey for my taste.
     
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  22. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    For fourth grade boys, they thought it was awesome.
     
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  23. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    going to the Tetons in August. Gonna hit up RMNP several times this year, see if I can find some awesome yet less-traveled trails
     
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  24. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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  25. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    about to book for acadia tonight :usasmug:
     
  26. Matt Foley

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    When you going? :peekaboo:

    I’ll be there in July.
     
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  27. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    late August. It's a haul but might try to loop in Montreal too. I've always wanted to visit there, but will have to see if it is logistically feasible.
     
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  28. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    I went to Saguaro National Park a few weeks ago and it was pretty fucking cool. It was my first real trip to the Southwest, and the landscape is borderline alien. Such a cool area.
     
  29. Buenos Nachos

    Buenos Nachos Palabra.
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    3 day 2 night loop in the Smokies this weekend. First BP trip since 2019. It's weird how much joy i find in getting my gear together.
     
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  30. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    yeah Arizona is a beautiful state. Especially if you are not from the region because that part of the country has such a unique landscape. I remember my first trip there and I hadn't really been anywhere like it, and I thought it was amazing. Love the "red rock" regions of the US and also the desert parts of AZ like Tucson are pretty incredible too.
     
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  31. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    Haven't been to Alaska. But driving through NM, AZ and southern UT/CO is about as awesome as it gets iyam. I'm in love with the geographic diversity in this region
     
  32. Nashville Knight

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    We have a week in the middle of August to explore Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches national parks. Will do 1-2 days per NP and will do a full day of short hikes and then a big day hike. Good idea or bad idea due to the Utah summer heat? Any must-see spots or hikes?
     
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  33. Fidelio

    Fidelio Well-Known Member
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    Just booked a 6 night Yellowstone/Teton trip. I'm pumped.
     
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  34. Hank Scorpio

    Hank Scorpio Globex Corporation, Philanthropist, Supervillain
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    Is there a "best park" for kids in the 7-10 yr old range? I'm wanting to book something for the family, but not really sure where to start. Something with some good (but not terribly difficult) hiking, maybe light rafting, ziplining, or the type of expedition a kid would enjoy and not be too difficult/dangerous for them.
     
  35. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    Think the best park road trip in the continental states imo is Jackson-Teton-Yellowstone-Various Parts of Montana- then Glacier. A close second would be highway 1 of CA or the southwestern route than Cornelius Suttree described, but those aren’t quite as NP heavy. Well the SW route is but they don’t have the grandeur of the parks of the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier.

    There is tons to do at all of them and can be enjoyed by all ages. Tons of wildlife, I think kids would love the geothermal pools of Yellowstone, you can take a boat on flathead lake of Montana which is gorgeous or on Whitefish Lake. Glacier had the most wildlife of any park I’ve visited and both Yellowstone and Glacier are super car friendly. The hikes are great there but you don’t have to hike at all to absolutely love the scenery of the park. Personally I did hike a lot at those parks but found them very car friendly, which is somewhat rare as many national parks you need to hike to really get to the best parts.

    Also tons of whitewater rafting, fishing, horseback riding, camping at all of these sight but especially in Jackson and near Glacier in Montana. Well probably around Missoula as well.
     
  36. tspa

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    I don't have children, but here are a couple of things off the top of my head. It might help to know how long you are planning.

    - Arches and Canyonlands. You can stay in Moab and have easy access to both parks. Both have plenty of short easy hikes with big payoffs. Off the top of my head double arch in Arches is one that I think kids would really enjoy. In canyonlands Grandview Point would be a great hike for kids.
    I did some light rafting on the Colorado River out of Moab. I did it on an inflatable kayak, but I assume a six-man would be pretty tame. At most it's class 3 rapids, probably only 2.
    You could extend this trip to include all of the southern Utah Parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef). Or go the other way and visit Mesa Verde in Colorado. I also have done some rafting on the Animas river near Mesa Verde. It was more wild than in Moab, but I think a 7-year that is adventurous could handle it (my mom did it and she's scared of most things exciting).
    If your kids like dinosaurs, Dinosaur National Monument is about 3:30 north of Moab and has some really cool fossil displays as well some good short hikes.

    - Olympic National Park. Olympic might be my favorite park, just because it is so diverse. You have beautiful coastlines, alpine mountains and rain forest. There are plenty of short hikes that would be good for kids. Hurricane Ridge is one of my favorite hikes anywhere, and probably doable for a 7-year old.
    I don't know about rafting in the area, but I did a whale watching tour in the San Juan Islands that was really cool. We saw a bunch or Orcas. You could also make a trip to Mt. Rainier easily as well.

    - Great Smoky Mountains. I live near the smokies so I may be a little biased, but I love the park. There are tons of trails that are great for kids. Generally you have less elevation gain on hikes in the smokies than you do out west, so all but maybe a handful of day hikes in the park are good for kids.
    For rafting you have the Pigeon River nearby that is pretty tame. If you wanted to venture out a little bit there is the Nolichucky river as well that is good for kids. You also have the Ocoee and the Nantahala RIvers that are a little more adventurous.
    You are also in close proximity to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I try to avoid both places the best I can, but they both have tons of activities for kids. There is nothing really wrong with the towns themselves, but there are a tremendous amount of people walking around in jean shorts and tank tops that choose to vacation there who will never step foot on a trail, I find most of them unlikable.
    You have ziplines, mountain coasters, mini golf, go carts, etc...
    You can stay in Townsend or Pittman Center, Tennessee, or Bryson City or Maggie Valley, North Carolina to be in more peaceful areas.
     
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  37. tspa

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    In Capitol Reef one thing very few people do, but is one of the best things in the park is driving in Cathedral Valley. It's a 50-mile dirt-road loop with some great views of of giant rock formations. There are also some quick hikes along the way to viewpoints or to the formations. You will need a Truck or SUV because you have to cross a river to get on the road. I assume in August the water level will be low, but just check at the visitor center before crossing the river. When I went I saw less than a dozen other cars along the whole road.

    I've not done Utah in August, but I have in June and July. If they are calling crazy heat just start early in the morning, take a break in the middle day and go back out in the evening. That's what I did in Saguaro a few years ago, I was on the trail at sunrise, rested from like 1:00-5:00 and then went back out.
     
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  38. Duck Smoker

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    My wife did pretty good. She got two nights over Gunsight Pass at Glacier for us in August and work to pay for our trip, and four nights at Grand Tetons with Cascade Canyon in July. These won't be solo adventures like having Great Basin's backcountry to ourselves, but I've never been to Tetons and it's been a long time since I was last at Glacier. We'll spend some extra days on the Glacier trip at the Wind Rivers on our drive back home to Colorado. It's going to be a zoo of people getting to and from these trips - hopefully gas prices and people being tired of outdoor trips lowers the crowds over last year. If we only lose one of these trips to smoke, I'll be impressed.
     
  39. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    Anyone done any hiking in or around Big Sur lately? We’re going to be out there at the end of June, but it looks like a lot of trails in the California parks system are closed.

    Curious if anyone has done McWay Falls, etc. recently?
     
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  40. Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone deluxe member
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    Just did McWay Falls two weeks ago. Not much of a hike, but one of prettiest places on earth. Only a handful of hiking areas seemed closed off in that area.
     
  41. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton 6ft in Boots
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    I went in 2019 and January 2022. Seemed like more was open in Big Sur than before. But it can be fluid based on current conditions.

    There's also great hiking in Carmel Valley.
     
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  42. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    Were you able to get down to the beach or just the overlook?
     
  43. Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone deluxe member
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    No one was allowed at the beach. I’ve been to the spot a few times over the last decade, and I’ve never seen that allowed, not even for those with the camping permits. I’ve heard of some kayakers reaching it but that’s it. I’m jealous of anyone that has had access.
     
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  44. LeonardWashington

    LeonardWashington Leader of Tuanon
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    Highway 1 in that area of Big Sur is becoming a major clusterfuck, sadly
     
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  45. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    Yeah, we’re going to do that stretch midweek, hopefully to avoid the worst of it.
     
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  46. Cornelius Suttree

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    Feeling like it'll be a good weekend to hit up GCNP iyam

     
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  47. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    Don’t approach the bison
     
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  48. herb.burdette

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    Yellowstone is not a petting zoo.
     
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  49. Fidelio

    Fidelio Well-Known Member
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    Day 1 Yellowstone in the books

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  50. TAS

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